“If you’re Healthy, if you don’t get sick much, if you don’t go to the doctor much or use your health insurance much, you are a genetic lottery winner. It has nothing to do with the way of live, nothing to do with doing the right things. It’s just sheer luck, and you are gonna pay for that.”– Rush Limbaugh INTRODUCTION
Ivamy, who is an insurance expert, has described an insurance policy as "a contract in which an individual called the insurer undertakes, in exchange for the negotiated consideration referred to as the premium, to pay to the other person named the insured, a sum of money or its equivalent in the event of a specified event." Insurance can be divided into two categories of insurance: general insurance and life insurance. Life insurance applies to the assurance of an individual's life. In most cases, it serves as a security and a mode of investment that is primarily dependent on the occurrence or non-existence of the stated event.
The special characteristic of life insurance is that it does not have the concept of indemnity that is the crux of all other types of insurance. General insurance applies to all other types of insurance, including fire insurance, marine insurance, professional insurance, etc.
Karnataka High Court has recently directed the Karnataka State Government to consider the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Advocate welfare scheme. Impressed by the Delhi High Court’s Insurance scheme, they asked them to consider the Advocate Welfare Scheme and could see if something could be worked out in collaboration with insurance companies. Two-week time has been given to respond and apart from the state government, they have sought response from central government.
Last year, the Delhi Government implemented the Chief Minister’s Advocate Welfare Scheme. As a result, 29077 advocates who resided in Delhi took the benefit of the scheme. Under this scheme, advocates are getting medical and insurance facilities.
The government has asked the state government to call a meeting of bar associations, state government officials, life insurance Corporation (LIC) and officials of public sector insurance companies. According to me the purpose is to find out whether any scheme can be made out for the benefit of lawyers like the done by the Government of Delhi.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Arvind Kumar asked the State Government to consider framing the said scheme for the eligible members of the bar. It also the central Government to state whether a committee has been constituted by the department of legal affairs or so far, any recommendations has been made to provide insurance to the lawyers.
On February 12, the Delhi High Court had directed the New India Assurance Company Limited (NAICL) to issue e-cards to all the advocates who have registered under the Chief Minister’s Advocate Welfare Scheme.
NEED OF INSURANCE FOR ADVOCATES
The legal profession has historically seen high incidences of mental health problems, such as depression. In 1990, a study by Johns Hopkins University on major depressive disorders in different professions in the United States of America found that lawyers had the largest number of people working with depression. Various research around the world, in different jurisdictions, have followed and reiterated the findings—for example, in his 2015 book The Wellness Doctrines, Jerome Doraisamy, a Sydney lawyer, looked at the prevalence, causes and consequences of psychological distress, anxiety and depression among law students and young lawyers in Australia.
Doraisamy noted that one in every three lawyers or law students in Australia was struggling with depression. While few such studies have been conducted in India, it would not be a mistake to conclude that, despite a different working culture, similar pressures and risks exist in the Indian profession.
Above all, like every other occupation in India, there is a tremendous amount of stigma associated with mental health problems. Mental health care in India has already been marred by a lack of access to basic information and a lack of willingness to consider mental health as a real problem. Add to that, the challenge that lawyers face is not only to be psychologically "fit" but also to play a part in a persuasive way. Lawyers who fail to build on their sentences are also eaten up by other lawyers. One can imagine the attitude towards a lawyer whose disposition and mental faculties—as a consequence of the stigma surrounding mental illnesses—are written off as untrustworthy or unpredictable.
Despite all these Lawyers also face high threat to life, hence according to me a profession with lots of risk, harm, mental pressure etc. needs a proper insurance for their bad times.
The step taken by the Delhi government last year is a really positive step towards the legal background in India. Not only the advocates, but their family too will have sense of security. Also, in my opinion it will give the boost to legal sector. Also, because the scheme is beneficial, that is the reason why Karnataka high court is also looking for the benefits of the same and if the same could be applied in their states too.